Only a few days have passed since its release, and already the Mainstream Media has forgotten all about the Lehman Examiner Report, with barely an occasional mention. As the CJR points out, this unquestionably massive story of corruption and vice, is being covered up by powered interests controlling all the major news outlets, because just like in the Galleon case, the stench goes not only to the top, (in this case the New York Fed and the SEC), but very likely to various corporations that have vested interests in the conglomerates controlling America's key media organizations. One person, however, who refuses to let it go, is Senator Ted Kaufman, whose determined support for an overhaul of market structure we have followed over the past year. The Senator now moves on to yet another pressing issue: the disclosures of unprecedented impropriety conducted by virtually every person of responsibility within the Lehman organization, as well as associated firms like Ernst & Young, and regulators who were asleep at the wheel during the moment of greatest stress for the American financial system. Kaufman calls for a "a thorough investigation, both civil and criminal, to identify every last person who had knowledge that Lehman was misleading the public about its troubled balance sheet – and that means everyone from the Lehman executives, to its board of directors, to its accounting firm, Ernst & Young. Moreover, if the foreign bank counterparties who purchased the now infamous "Repo 105s" were complicit in the scheme, they should be held accountable as well." Zero Hedge sides with Senator Kaufman in this new endeavor (we have yet to see even one other member of Congress or the Senate stand up and voice their opposition to Lehman's criminal conduct). As Kaufman wisely points out: "I’m concerned that the revelations about Lehman Brothers are just the tip of the iceberg. We have no reason to believe that the conduct detailed last week is somehow isolated or unique. Indeed, this sort of behavior is hardly novel." We look forward to obtaining even more raw data on improprieties conducted by other financial firms, and we hold our breath until we can finally get a glimpse at the heart of that most corrupt and secretive organization of all - the US Federal Reserve.
As Kaufman points out in a Speech to be delivered before the Senate, the precedent of failing to pursue justice in just this one case, may be the final barrier before the fundamental concept of American democracy disintegrates into a cloud of crony interests and captured political elements.
Mr. President, last week’s revelations about Lehman Brothers reinforce what I’ve been saying for some time. The folly of radical deregulation has given us financial institutions that are too big to fail, too big to manage, and too big to regulate. If we have any hope of returning the rule of law to Wall Street, we need regulatory reform that the addresses this central reality. As I said more than a year ago: " At the end of the day, this is a test of whether we have one justice system in this country or two. If we don’t treat a Wall Street firm that defrauded investors of millions of dollars the same way we treat someone who stole 500 dollars from a cash register, then how can we expect our citizens to have faith in the rule of law? For our economy to work for all Americans, investors must have confidence in the honest and open functioning of our financial markets. Our markets can only flourish when Americans again trust that they are fair, transparent, and accountable to the laws." The American people deserve no less.
Full Kaufman speech to be delivered before the Senate, a must read for anyone who still hold out any hope for the survival of US society and the American middle-class.